Friday, October 27, 2006

Final day at OOPSLA

Thursday started a little later than usual for some reason. *cough* Directly followed by a power outage that made things interesting both at the hotel and conference center.

Agile tutorial
Alistair Cockburn is really good. Good presentation skills, extensive knowledge with very interesting ideas and concepts of ways of handling them. What else can one ask for? I'll buy some of his books, I haven't read any of them but sure will now. Cockburn's description of general agile development makes me go "aha, I recognise that problem/situation, and that and that way of thinking really strikes a chord within me" all the time. More so than "just" reading directly about XP (SCRUM I sadly don't know much about). His description (of agile development) is more of a way of thinking with some nice guidelines and nice helping ideas and key techniques for things to try out. Doing it better than XP it seems to me. XP is one type of agile development of course though. What Cockburn describes though is an ever changing, very pragmatic and efficiency based agile development. Almost like a meta-methodology. What works for us NOW? What does not? What shall we try next? Constantly adapting over and over and handling the situation from where we are NOW. No company, group, project, technology used or customer is the same. Adapt to what works for you in your project taking inspiration from a wide array of agile methods and tricks.
The icing on the cake for me was the Musashi (1685, on sword fighting) reference and how his ideas relate programming/projects. They were actually quite good, not a bad or very constructed analogy at all. Add in the fact that i train such martial art techniques in bujinkan and I got this warm feeling inside...

Too bad they had planned the tutorial at the only time he was unable to be there the full time, his flight was leaving the same time the tutorial would end. Anyway it was a really great tutorial, probably the best of them all that I had.

Final night out! No one cared about their flights the next day. But still home at a decent time, around 2 in the morning after having had a nice american dinner at Rock Bottom followed by a visit to the Irish pub Paddy's.